On Monday morning, President Joe Biden signed an executive order that repealed a Trump-era order that prevented people who identify as transgender from serving in the military and blocked military funding for sex reassignment surgeries for service members who identified as transgender.
“Allowing all qualified Americans to serve their country in uniform is better for the military and better for the country because an inclusive force is a more effective force,” the White House said in a statement. “Simply put, it’s the right thing to do and is in our national interest.”
Recently approved Secretary of Defense, retired Gen. Lloyd Austin, has been rather vocal on his position to allow transgender individuals from serving in the military.
“If you’re fit and you’re qualified to serve and you can maintain the standards, you should be allowed to serve and you can expect that I will support that throughout,” Austin said.
The 2017 policy, implemented in 2019, required military members to identify as their biological gender while also barring military funding to be allocated for reassignment surgeries.
After the military allowed transgender people to serve in 2016 under former President Barack Obama, the subsequent Trump administration quickly changed course to avoid disorder within the military.
“Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail,” former President Trump tweeted out in 2017.